Are Air Conditioning Refrigerants Being Phased Out?

August 05, 2020

You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner operates, but it has to have refrigerant to keep your residence cool. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, since it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was installed, it may require R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll discuss the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Wausau, as well as how these phaseouts impact you.

What’s R-22 and Why is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably uses Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by calling us at 715-301-0727. You can also look at the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your residence. This sticker will have details on what type of refrigerant your AC has.

Freon, which is also referred to as R-22, includes chlorine. Scientists consider Freon to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, barred its manufacture and import in January 2020.

I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?

It differs. If your air conditioning is running correctly, you can continue to use it. With annual air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to run around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!

If you keep your air conditioner, it might cause a problem if you require air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs may be pricier, because only reduced quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is accessible.

With the phaseout of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now have Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was created to keep the ozone layer strong. As it requires a varying pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a result, it might also eventually be ended. Although it hasn’t been disclosed yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?

In preparation of the end, some manufacturers have initiated using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be sent on to you through your cooling costs.

Gilray Heating and Cooling Can Assist with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In brief, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about earlier, refrigerant-related repairs can be more expensive since there are the restricted quantities on hand.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually malfunctions at the worst time, often on the hottest day when we’re experiencing a lot of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires a phased out refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This provides a trouble-free summer and can even lower your energy costs, especially if you choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model. Plus, Gilray Heating and Cooling has many financing solutions to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 715-301-0727 to begin today with a free estimate.